In thirteen ceremonies around the Caribbean, The University of the West Indies celebrates the successes of its students by granting certificates, diplomas, bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees marking the end of students’ academic programmes. Additionally, the University recognises the excellence of Caribbean and worldwide luminaries by the granting of honorary doctoral degrees.
In what has become the traditional feature of this formal occasion, graduates cross the stage to be greeted by the Chancellor and to receive the scroll of their well earned degree from the Campus Registrar. Graduates attaining Doctor of Philosophy degrees will tip their mortarboards to the Chancellor and receive their scroll from his hand.
The hallmark of the ceremony, however, is the main address of an inspirational luminary. From the records of the Library of the Spoken Word Collection, we feature the first such address at the first presentation of graduates for the newly independent University of the West Indies in 1965. Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Governor of Illinois and two time US Presidential Candidate Adlai Stevenson II is addressing the gathering at UWI Mona’s 1965 Presentation of Graduates on February 20. Sadly he passed away five months later in London after suffering a heart attack. In his speech, Stevenson encourages graduates to ‘get and give your share of ardent love and life’. Still great advice for the class of 2014.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2014